Biblical Self-Esteem – Part 5
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Another thing that we need to think about is: What does God say about me? We all have developed a self-image, a mental picture of who we are based on what others have said about us. Throughout our lives comments have been made about us. Subconsciously we listened to these comments and through them have formed a mental picture of ourselves. The problem is that we most usually do not move out of the parameters of that self-image that we have formed. If we have been told throughout our lives that we are a failure then it is hard for us to succeed.
To get a real understanding of who we are we need to go to God and let God show us what He thinks about us and let that be the mental picture that we form. He is the One who knows us through and through and we have already seen that what He says is not a lie since He cannot lie. What He says will be truthful.
So what does God have to say about me and you? Romans 9:20-21 “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?”
This is perhaps one of the first things that we need to consider: we are “lumps of clay” that God molds, some for honor or dishonor, for important or less important jobs. There are times when the lady of the house might take out the Chinaware for important guests or for a special occasion, but most usually she uses the mugs and regular dishes.
What it all boils down to is that we are just what the Lord wanted. We should not try to be something that we aren’t, but to be what the Lord made us to be. What a liberation this is when we can be ourselves and not try to be like someone else.
Carrying on there are several things about us that need to be mentioned. First of all, we are forgiven sinners. Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” This is very important in coming to an understanding of whom and what I am. Satan will try and bring up the past, but we need to refuse to listen to
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Because of what Christ has done I can walk in newness of life every day. I can keep a short account with God and be as if I have never sinned.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” What does God say about me? You? If we are in Christ we are a new creation. We have a new hope. We are unique. We are the only one of our kind. Each one of us then will bring out something different about the uniqueness of Christ.
This is the reason why irresponsible behavior keeps us from having a healthy self-esteem. James 4:17 “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” If I know what responsible behavior is and I act irresponsibly, then it is sin. When we act responsibly we become more aware of our self-worth.
What is responsible behavior? It is when I agree with God what sin is. What He calls sin, I call sin. One of the problems that we have in our society that is tearing us apart is the blame game. This started in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. We have a tendency to shift the blame. “It is not my fault,” but because of someone or something else.
We have seen that one form of anger is blaming one another. It is the most subtle, but the one that tends to separate friends and ruin relationships more than anything else.
Some years ago I was one of the speakers in an Operation World Conference in Bangalore, India. During a Q&A session one of the pastors asked the question: “Do you speakers ever feel jealous or envious when someone preaches, teaches, administrates, etc. better than you.” Good question. One of the speakers answered and said that when he was younger that was the case, but when he got older he began to recognize who he was in the Lord with the gifting that he was given by God and he came to accept who and what he was in Christ. And so when he saw someone speak, teach, etc. better than him he praised God for his brother. This is someone who knows who he is in Christ and accepts it.